A job applicant whose application was rejected does not have the right to know whether the employer hired someone else

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Date:
26 Apr 2012

According to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), a job applicant whose application was rejected, even when he claims plausibly that he meets the requirements listed in a job advertisement, is not entitled to have access to information indicating whether the employer hired another applicant at the end of the recruitment process. 

According to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), a job applicant whose application was rejected, even when he claims plausibly that he meets the requirements listed in a job advertisement, is not entitled to have access to information indicating whether the employer hired another applicant at the end of the recruitment process.

A person who considers himself to have been wronged because the principle of equal treatment has not been applied to him must initially establish the facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination. It is only where that person has established such facts that it is then for the employer to prove that there has been no breach of the principle of the principle of equal treatment.

In this case in two instances the applicant was not invited to take part in a job interview for a similar position at the same company. Subsequently the applicant brought an action to obtain compensation and the production of the file for the person who was hired, which would enable him to prove that he was better qualified for the position than that person.

In the 19 April 2012 judgment the ECJ decided that the applicant whose application was rejected, even when he claims plausibly that he meets the requirements listed in a job advertisement, is not entitled to have access to information indicating whether the employer hired another applicant at the end of the recruitment process.

However, the Court nuanced that it cannot be ruled out that an employer's refusal to grant any access to information may be one of the factors to take into account in the context of establishing facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination. 

It is still a matter of conjecture whether the courts will shift the burden to the employer. Indeed, the successful applicant also has a right to privacy.

ECJ 19 April 2012 (Meister/Speech Design Carrier Systems GmbH  (C - 415/10))